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What counts as credit card fraud and what are its penalties?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | White-Collar Crimes |

In Texas, credit card fraud has serious consequences. The punishments for this crime include imprisonment and fines, which can be harsher for those who steal a credit card from an elderly person. However, stealing a credit card is not the only way in which a person can commit credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud in Texas

Credit card fraud is the most prevalent type of identity fraud. A person commits this crime when they use someone else’s credit or debit card to obtain property or money without their consent. A person is also guilty of credit card fraud if:

  • They bought a credit card from a person that is not the issuer of the card
  • They stole and then sold the credit card of another person to a third party
  • They forced the credit card owner to buy them things or property they cannot afford
  • They possessed the credit card of another person with the intent to use it
  • They used a fictitious credit card
  • They used a credit card with the issuer’s consent but did not buy what they promised they would with their credit card
  • They used a credit card that they knew was revoked, canceled or expired.

The courts consider this crime a state felony or a felony of the third degree, depending on who the victim is. If the card’s issuer is an elderly person, the crime is a felony of the third degree. The same applies if a person uses a weapon or force to commit the crime or has a previous conviction of a felony.

Penalties

The law in Texas considers credit card fraud as a state jail felony unless the victim is an elderly person. The punishments for a state jail felony include a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Third-degree felonies are more serious, and so are their penalties. Those convicted of a third-degree felony may spend up to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and pay a fine of up to $10,000.

The right to defense

Anyone who has a criminal charge for credit card fraud can defend themselves in court. One must know that a charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction, and those with a criminal charge have the right to prove their innocence to the court. A person may not be guilty of this crime if, for example, they keep someone else’s credit card with their consent and without the intent of using it for fraudulent purposes. If someone is innocent of this crime, they have the right to fight for their freedom and avoid the harsh penalties that come with the conviction of credit card fraud.

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